Saudi Arabia will host a meeting this Friday of Arab foreign ministers to discuss bringing Syria back into the Arab League, which suspended Damascus in 2011, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari said the meeting will be attended by the foreign ministers of Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
“The main aim is to discuss the situation in Syria. There are many developments regarding the situation in Syria and points of view of Arab states about the return of Syria to the Arab League,” al-Ansari said.
Saudi Arabia is expected to invite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to attend a May 19 Arab League summit that will be held in Riyadh. The move would be significant as Saudi Arabia and other Arab League members supported the failed regime change effort against Assad.
The US is opposed to regional countries normalizing with Syria as it wants to keep the country isolated and under crippling sanctions. CIA Director William Burns recently visited Riyadh and said the US was blindsided by the Saudi normalization with Iran and steps toward opening up with Damascus.
The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Arab countries were looking to work out a normalization deal with Assad that would involve Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other US allies lobbying for an end to Western sanctions on Syria.